Administrator & Alpha Bitch of the Wild Bunch
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Michigan, USA
If you start with a pup or green dog that has no real training, train it and title it, it is HOT.
If you buy a green dog already with training, or a fully trained but not yet titled dog, it is not HOT.
If you send the dog away for professional training, it is not HOT. This goes for trainers who train the dog from start to finish, but also if one were to send the dog away to "tracking camp" or "forced retrieve" camp for a few days or weeks or months to have someone else work on a particular area.
If you work with a club, training facility, coach, and they help YOU train YOUR dog, it is still HOT. You can't train a dog without those things. Not to the title level anyway. I mean good grief, how would one be both handler and helper for their dog in protection so as to never get help if that's what HOT required? That's not what the title is about. It is there to give credit to the folks who go the extra mile to do it themselves.
Of course, most of the time this goes by honor system. There indeed are people who have purchased dogs with training, maybe even to the point of being ready to title, and sent dogs off for training elsewhere, and still claim HOT. The only proof that the organizations like USCA look for to verify if a dog is HOT is if the owner/handler trialed for all of the titles. There is no way for them to prove one way or the other if the person truly did all the training, they just trust people to be honest. Which most are, but not all of course. Same with anything else in life.
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